Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Two Zombies, ~3000 word horror/satire

   
Author Topic: Two Zombies, ~3000 word horror/satire
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So I decided to break with my usual practice of outlining a story and really laying down the ground work with this piece, and simply go 'seat of the pants' with it. It'll probably show in the story In any case, probably the first, and last, zombie story I'll ever write. This is the first 13 of the first draft, the story will be about 3000 words or less.

I'm on the final act and should have a completed first draft in a few days if anyone is interested. Just to forewarn, the story is politically oriented, so if its not your cup of tea, I'll understand.

Edited to add a synopsis of the story: Two zombies, Oscar, formerly a CNC machinist, and Abe, formerly a civil-rights attorney, lament their second-class status in America as misunderstood Zombies banished to a refugee camp on Ellis Island. When a radio show demagogue launches into anti-zombie hate speech, the zombies decide they've had enough and decide to take action.

Here is the first 13:
----------------------------------------

Oscar tossed his head back – not so hard as to decapitate himself - and chugged the pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon down in a three gulps. A moment later, the beer washed out of his abdominal cavity onto his carpenter pants. “Sh*t. I look like I peed on myself,” he said, slamming the glass down onto the lacquered bar top.
“You sure can’t hold your drink,” Abe chuckled - not so hard as to dislodge his jaw.
Oscar rolled his eye, “That joke is getting mighty old, Abe. Besides, this ain’t funny. It’s your fault I can’t enjoy a god damn beer anymore.” Sometimes, he wanted to turn Abe’s fancy silk tie around and hang him from the ceiling.
“Oh come now, Oscar. It’s not so bad.” Abe nodded toward the group of fresh kill...

----------------------------------------------------

New first 13, and hoping I can get some readers for the revised version of this. Just looking for general impressions as I intend to start sending it to market soon!


Oscar tossed his head back – not so hard as to decapitate himself - and chugged the pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon down in three Adam’s Apple-bursting gulps. A moment later, the beer washed out of his abdominal cavity onto his carpenter pants and the floor. “****. I look like I peed on myself,” he said, slamming the pint glass down onto the lacquered bar top.
Abe shuffled back to avoid having his Ralph Lauren shoes soiled. “You sure can’t hold your drink,” Abe chuckled - not so hard as to dislodge his jaw.
Oscar rolled his eye, “That joke is getting mighty old, Abe. Besides, this ain’t funny. It’s your fault I can’t enjoy a god damn beer anymore. One of these days, I’m gonna hang you from that fancy silk tie.”

[This message has been edited by Osiris (edited May 15, 2011).]


Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Foste
Member
Member # 8892

 - posted      Profile for Foste   Email Foste         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Definitely hooked by the voice and the morbid humor. You got something there.
Posts: 628 | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimiqua
Member
Member # 7760

 - posted      Profile for shimiqua   Email shimiqua         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For me it's the fancy silk tie that hooked me. I'd read on.
~Sheena

Posts: 1201 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brendan
Member
Member # 6044

 - posted      Profile for Brendan   Email Brendan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Definitely hooked me. I want to read the rest. Send it in if you want.
Posts: 784 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Brendan, will send it out to you this weekend.
Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aaron White
Member
Member # 9473

 - posted      Profile for Aaron White   Email Aaron White         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems odd to me that Oscar would persist in trying to drink when it all leaks out of him; since it seems that he's aware of the problem, and seems to be intelligent (as zombies go) shouldn't he try to fix the problem? Maybe it would be stronger if we saw him discovering the problem, or trying to stuff some kind of prosthetic intestines into himself.

[This message has been edited by Aaron White (edited March 31, 2011).]


Posts: 22 | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aaron White
Member
Member # 9473

 - posted      Profile for Aaron White   Email Aaron White         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Typo alert: there's an extra "a" near the end of the first sentence. No biggy.
Posts: 22 | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Aaron, fixed it in my MS. I also noticed I missed a 'to' somewhere and ended up correcting it. No worries, first draft and all
Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reziac
Member
Member # 9345

 - posted      Profile for Reziac   Email Reziac         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Had me with the first line. LOL by the last! A deadly work.


Posts: 727 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Brendan, sent it to you, thanks again for taking a look. If anyone else would like to take a gander, please let me know.

As always, I'm happy to return the favor.

[This message has been edited by Osiris (edited April 02, 2011).]


Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just read it and hmm, there's not much I can say. It's not the first such satire but that's okay. The POV of a zombie still makes it unique and one can see quickly that it is satire. That's good.

Curious to know what makes zombies in your story but that would come later. Word count sounds about right.


Posts: 5096 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tryndakai
Member
Member # 9427

 - posted      Profile for Tryndakai   Email Tryndakai         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Love the "not so hard as to . . ." bits. Really puts a new twist on the idea of zombies--that the poor guys have to be constantly aware or their actions, lest they do further damage to themselves . . .
Plus, of course, it's funny.

I kind of agree on the point that Oscar shouldn't seem so surprised by the spilled drink if it's been an ongoing problem, for however long, but I imagine it could be fixed by some kind of statement about how, no matter how fruitless it is, he still likes the taste or holds onto the habit or is constantly trying to slake his old, pre-mortem addiction . . . some reason for him to never give up. *shrug*

It does look like a fun story.


Posts: 114 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's exactly it Tryndakai, we all do things we know to be fruitless not because we expect a result, but we hope against reason that we'll get something out of it. Just take the poor guy/girl smitten with a someone who doesn't reciprocate. They'll keep trying even though we know its nigh impossible they'll get the result the achieve, but they do hope for it!

As you rightly point out, the problem is easily fixed (and will be) by putting that hope on the page. Later on in the story, he does get a fix when the bartender gives him a cigar. His lungs are relatively intact (Not so for poor Abe.)

Indeed, I did pepper the story with the 'not so hard' lines, hopefully not so much as to be distracting.

[This message has been edited by Osiris (edited April 05, 2011).]


Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Foste
Member
Member # 8892

 - posted      Profile for Foste   Email Foste         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Open to crit if you won't mind.
Posts: 628 | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Foste, it's sent.
Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looking for readers for the final draft, please let me know if interested. This story is now at about 6500-7000 words. I'm just looking for general impressions before I send it off to market.
Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jcavonpark
Member
Member # 9508

 - posted      Profile for jcavonpark   Email jcavonpark         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You can send it my way if you want.

jcavonpark@yahoo.com

Just let me know in the email what kind of feedback you're looking for. I'll try to have it back within the next day or so.


Posts: 86 | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bemused
Member
Member # 8465

 - posted      Profile for bemused   Email bemused         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like the tone and the humor. I am definitely hooked. But I do have two minor nitpicks. First, you repeated the phrase "Not so hard as to" twice. Both times referring to the restraint each zombie shows in moving so as not to break themselves. As Tryndakai mentioned, this does put a nice twist on the perspective of being a zombie, the need to be aware of your own fragility. It kind of reminded me of the movie Death Becomes Her. It is just a little jarring to hear it twice in quick succession, and it takes away from the novelty of the idea. Second, and this is a personal preference, who drinks PBR from a glass? The use of a pint glass for a PBR instead of straight from a can broke realism for me.
Posts: 99 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bemused
Member
Member # 8465

 - posted      Profile for bemused   Email bemused         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, and I would read more if you are still looking for a crit.
Posts: 99 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ha, fact of the matter is I'm not a drinker at all, so I wouldn't know lol. The reason I picked PBR is I wanted to characterize Oscar as a somewhat everyday blue-collar Joe, to contrast him with Abe, who is a white-collar kind of guy. So I did a bit of research and picked PBR.

Regarding the drinking of PBR, this scene takes place in a bar in which beer is served from the tap, so in this case, it is appropriate for them to be using pint glasses.

Thank you for the offer to critique, I will send it along.


Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Foste
Member
Member # 8892

 - posted      Profile for Foste   Email Foste         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Although I read it already I'd like to look at the final draft.
Posts: 628 | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sure thing Foste, I'll send it your way once I've revised it, or did you mean you want to see the current reiteration? I believe you saw the first draft which lacked the 'guard battle' scene as well as the scene outside of the bar.
Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Foste
Member
Member # 8892

 - posted      Profile for Foste   Email Foste         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nope, I saw the guard battle. You can revise it before you send it out, sure. I have a special interest in this story being published actually.


Posts: 628 | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have a special interest in this story being published actually.

Now, that is both a narrative hook and withholding :P You've made me curious as to this special interest.

Figuring out which markets to target is a bit of challenge, but I'm generally going for the pro markets with the quickest turnaround rates first.


Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jcavonpark
Member
Member # 9508

 - posted      Profile for jcavonpark   Email jcavonpark         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Probably a good idea to start there. Have you tried the latest Writers Market? I believe there's a section in there for comedy publications and most of them are looking for new writers. You might even be able to find an outlet dedicated to zombie fiction, although it might take some digging.
Posts: 86 | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have 2010 Deluxe edition of Writers Market, but I prefer to use Duotrope.com because of the search functions. Still, that is a good idea, I'll dust it off and have a look.
Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jcavonpark
Member
Member # 9508

 - posted      Profile for jcavonpark   Email jcavonpark         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh cool, I'll check out that site too. Lol, props for unwittingly swapping resource ideas
Posts: 86 | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darrin
Member
Member # 9541

 - posted      Profile for Darrin   Email Darrin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi,

I'm a bit serious so take my crit lightly. I typically like highbrow humor or sarcastic over physical, so feel free to throw out my comments. But I love zombie movies and shows.

Technically I didn't understand on first read how the beer came out of his stomach. A hole? How was the hole here?

If he can't enjoy beer, why was he drinking it?

He wanted to kill his friend who was already dead. How would this work? Do zombies need to breath, so would choking actually work? Zombies require their brain to be crushed. At least that is how I got rid of my neighbor.

There is a great zombie movie out there where the zombies don't know they are zombies. It does a nice bw v color change depending on whose reality it is.

I understand a guy made his friend a zombie but I don't know what the conflict was and I'm mildly interested in know how his friend did it (ie Shaun of the dead) but I don't see where this is going and why.

One other technical note. I'd go easy on the dashes at first.

I hope this helps.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Whew. Okay, plot holes have been slain, prose made as efficient as I can make it. I'm sending this out to market today or tomorrow.

Foste, I'll send you the final version soon since you asked for it. Any other takers? I'm not looking for a crit, but general reactions would be welcome.


Posts: 1033 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2